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Effects of marine habitats on growth, condition and survival of juvenile pink salmon in the coastal Gulf of Alaska
Karlstad University, Faculty of Social and Life Sciences, Department of Biology.
2004 (English)Conference paper, (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Juvenile pink salmon are produced from four hatcheries in Prince William Sound (PWS). During their first summer at sea they occur in PWS, the Alaska Coastal Current (ACC) and in shelf water seaward of the ACC front. In July, fish are in PWS and in ACC water, but rarely in shelf water. By August, they also occur in shelf water. In August, fish size differed among habitats. In 2002 and 2003 fish in shelf water were larger than those in the ACC or PWS; whereas in 2001 fish in shelf water were smaller than in ACC or PWS. Habitat-related size differences were usually found in all hatchery cohorts. Fish condition varied in a similar way. Fish in shelf water were in better condition than ACC fish in 2002 and 2003, but were in poorer condition in 2001. Habitat use, size and condition patterns may have been related to feeding and zooplankton availability. The habitat differences we observed in fish size and condition may have important implications for marine survival. There are indications that juvenile salmon reaching a critical size by the start of their first winter at sea have higher over-winter survival. If the critical size hypothesis holds for pink salmon, larger individuals in August may be more likely to return as adults in the following summer. Our observations are consistent with this hypothesis - hatchery fish that were released in 2001 had very low survival, whereas those released in 2002 had exceptionally high survival. These observations suggest that conditions in shelf water during late summer affect overall survival of juvenile pink salmon.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2004.
National Category
Biological Sciences
Research subject
Biology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-18637OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-18637DiVA: diva2:592274
Conference
PICES 13th Annual Meeting Book of Abstracts. p. 124. 2004
Available from: 2013-01-21 Created: 2013-01-21 Last updated: 2013-01-21

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